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Province Suspending Bans on B.C. Wine and Talks Over Electricity

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Province Suspending Bans on B.C. Wine and Talks Over Electricity

The provincial government is suspending its retaliation measures against British Columbia over the Trans Mountain Pipeline dispute.

On Thursday, Premier Rachel Notley told reporters they would stop their ban on B.C. wine and talks about purchasing electricity.

This comes after the B.C. government announced earlier in the day they will now go through the courts to see whether or not they can restrict what goes into a pipeline in their province.

Notley says the news is a ‘small victory’ for Albertans.

“I’m confident that the courts will not give B.C. rights it does not possess under our constitution – in other words, I’m confident that the constitution will be upheld and we will have seen the last of these ridiculous threats.”

Back in January, the British Columbia government announced they were looking to restrict the shipment of diluted bitumen from oilsands until they establish a standard of preparedness, response, and recovery necessary to protect their environment from possible spills.

In response, the province announced, on February 1, its first form of repercussions – suspending talks about purchasing electricity, possibly costing B.C. an average of $500 million.

Just five days later, they announced a ban on B.C. wine – following in the footsteps of a local business. While in Fort McMurray last week, Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda went to Asti Trattoria Italiana and applauded owner Karen Collins for their decision.

If B.C. moves away from their new decision, Notley says Alberta will act fast.

“If it becomes clear that this action is, in fact, part of a deliberate strategy to harass pipeline and its investors with legal challenges, we will act immediately and we will expect our federal partners to do the same.”

The Trans Mountain pipeline is still in the works with around 56 per cent of the project being approved by the National Energy Board. Last week, the NED approved construction on the Burnaby Mountain Portal.

The $6.8 billion project is expected to create around 15,000 jobs during construction by twinning the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton, Alberta, and Burnaby, British Columbia.

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